Cricket boards and crickets fans have rarely got along well. From condition of stadiums to quality of broadcast to exorbitant ticket prices to fans being lathicharged (at least in India), it is a contentious issue to say the least. The general perception has been that it is the sub-continental fans that have suffered the most due to the greed and ineptness of their boards.
Though not faultless, boards like ECB, CA, CSA, and NZC have been rarely in news for such issues. Well till now at least. And this time it is the New Zealand Cricket Board that is in the news for all the wrong reasons.
What is the issue? There is not going to any coverage of the domestic cricket on radio. Yes, radio. Oh you think it is a non-issue? Well you are wrong. It is a bigger issue than it seems to be.
Before the TV coverage changed everything radio was the only way for fans to follow the match live if they were not at the stadium. Then came along TV along with its comforts and advertisement to change the way we followed cricket forever. Of course the internet revolution started a new chapter in the history of sports coverage but radio remains the medium with the largest reach.
Most mobiles these days come with a built in radio. True they do come with internet and all that jazz too. But one thing we have learnt from life is that mobile signals are about as trustworthy as Salman Butt’s dealings. And even in a small country like New Zealand with its population of 4.36 million, the game is followed on the radio by a large number of people for obvious reasons. Radios are everywhere. Radiowaves are almost everywhere. Radio is free. Simple.
On nice summer day if I wish to go down to an isolated beach, lay out my lunch spread and want to follow the Volts vs Stags in Plunket Shield you want me to carry a computer or a TV with me? Or do you want me keep checking my mobile phone every moment and ignore the pristine sand and welcoming waves around me?
Wouldn’t it be great if I could just carry a portable Transistor to the beach and have the commentary going on while waded out in to the waters for a bit? Ah that would be nice indeed! I could list innumerable instances where the only way to follow cricket would be over the radio and what is happening is just not fair for the fans and is not good for the game in the long run.
So we implore you to do the right thing and help the New Zealand fans by signing the petition here:
Go on. This is one thing wrong with the game that we can fix.